Usually when a hockey team jumps out to a 3-0 lead in the first 13:27 of the game, that bodes well.
They don’t usually give up the next six goals after that.
But that’s what the Admirals did, as the Texas Stars got some payback in the rematch Wednesday, dropping Milwaukee 6-3.
Ryan Garbutt had a hat-trick, Andrew Raycroft settled down after an unstable first period, stopping all 15 shots he faced in the 2nd and 3rd periods.
Raycroft was having some rebound issues, as the Admirals scored their first two goals on second chances. Kyle Wilson scored first, putting back the rebound of his own shot. And then Zack Stortini put in a rebound after Raycroft made a pad save on a shot from Jani Lajunen.
After a Tousignant slashing penalty, Raycroft was whistled a pair of his own infractions, leading to a pair of 5-on-3 power plays for the Admirals. They scored on their first one, as Chris Mueller converted on a back door play. Tousignant came out of the box. And then the Ads had the distinction of being on a 5-on-3 courtesy of two penalties on the goaltender. Not something you see every day.
And then the first period ended. A good period for the Admirals, who were strong on the forecheck, strong going to the net, and sticking to the gameplan.
The players got away from the gameplan in the second period. Coach Drulia said on the post-game radio interview that there were some guys who were trying to be too cute with the puck, and it was on some of those plays that the pucks ended up behind Jeremy Smith.
This has been a recurring theme in 2012. Getting away from the gameplan, and then paying for mistakes. I know a lot of fans have complained that the coach is the problem, but the players have to execute. They’re professionals. When they are calling audibles after an extraordinarily successful first period, the responsibility falls to the players for collapses like tonight. It’s like they were already on the flight back to Milwaukee.
Colton Sceviour scored on a 3-on-2 just over six minutes into the second period.
Ryan Garbutt scored on a 2-on-1 with Jon Blum caught up ice.
Garbutt scored his second goal just 59 seconds into the third period on a shot that went just under Smith’s glove.
Matt Fraser got behind the defense and scored on an even strength breakaway for what was eventually the game winning goal.
Scott Glennie knocked a puck out of mid-air past Smith 1:34 after Fraser’s goal. And then Garbutt got the empty netter for the hat-trick.
I was all ready to write about what a successful Texas road trip it was. The Admirals did get 4 out of a possible 6 points…but after a collapse like tonight, I can’t help but curb my enthusiasm a bit. First place Charlotte comes to town on Friday, and if it turns to improv night at the BC again, it’ll be the Checkers that’ll be ‘jumping around’ to the Badger Band.
Atte got two wins this week. Smitty was left out to dry and gave up six goals tonight. Who starts on Friday?